Business evaluation objects are known in BI as InfoObjects. They are divide into characteristics (for example, customers), key figures (for example, revenue), units (for example, currency, amount unit), time characteristics (for example, fiscal year) and technical characteristics (for example, request number).
InfoObjects are the smallest units of BI. Using InfoObjects, information is mapped in a structured form. This is required for constructing InfoProviders.
InfoObjects with attributes or texts can themselves also be InfoProviders (if in a query).
Characteristics are sorting keys, such as company code, product, customer group, fiscal year, period, or region. They specify classification options for the dataset and are therefore reference objects for the key figures. In the InfoCube, for example, characteristics are stored in dimensions. These dimensions are linked by dimension IDs to the key figures in the fact table. The characteristics determine the granularity (the degree of detail) at which the key figures are kept in the InfoCube. In general, an InfoProvider contains only a sub-quantity of the characteristic values from the master data table. The master data includes the permitted values for a characteristic. These are known as the characteristic values.
The key figures provide the values that are reported on in a query. Key figures can be quantity, amount, or number of items. They form the data part of an InfoProvider.
Units are also required so that the values for the key figures have meanings. Key figures of type amount are always assigned a currency key and key figures of type quantity also receive a unit of measurement.
Time characteristics are characteristics such as date, fiscal year, and so on.
Technical characteristics have only one organizational meaning within BI. An example of this is the request number in the InfoCube, which is obtained as ID when loading requests. It helps you to find the request again.
Special features of characteristics:
If characteristics have attributes, texts, or hierarchies at their disposal then they are referred to as master data-bearing characteristics. Master data is data that remains unchanged over a long period of time. Master data contains information that is always needed in the same way. References to this master data can be made in all InfoProviders. You also have the option of creating characteristics with references. A reference characteristics provides the attributes, master data, texts, hierarchies, data type, length, number and type of compounded characteristics, lower case letters and conversion routines for new characteristics.
A hierarchy is always created for a characteristic. This characteristic is the basic characteristic for the hierarchy (basic characteristics are characteristics that do not reference other characteristics). Like attributes, hierarchies provide a structure for the values of a characteristic. Company location is an example of an attribute for Customer. You use this, for example, to form customer groups for a specific region. You can also define a hierarchy to make the structure of the Customer characteristic clearer.
Special features of key figures:
A key figure is assigned additional properties that influence the way that data is loaded and how the query is displayed. This includes the assignment of a currency or unit of measure, setting aggregation and exception aggregation, and specifying the number of decimal places in the query.
InfoObjects can be part of the following objects:
1. Component of an InfoSource
An InfoSource is a quantity of InfoObjects that logically belong together and are updated in InfoProviders.
2. Composition of an InfoProvider:
An InfoProvider consists of a number of InfoObjects.
In an InfoCube, the characteristics, units, and time characteristics form the basis of the key fields, and the key figures form the data part of the fact table of the InfoCube.
In a DataStore object, characteristics generally form the key fields, but they can also be included in the data part, together with the key figures, units and time characteristics.
3. Attributes for InfoObjects